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Zoo animal nutrition: a historical

approach and some general


rules

Marcus Clauss & Jean-Michel Hatt

Clinic for Zoo Animals, Exotic Pets and Wildlife, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of
Zurich, Switzerland
European Zoo Nutrition Conference 2015 Arnhem
Zoo animal nutrition
- nutritional diseases
Approach to zoo animal nutrition
do as we always did
Historical approach
Approach to zoo animal nutrition
do as we always did
based on experiences what sometimes experiences are
has been working mistakes one has been making
for long time

imitate the natural diet


best approach
Example: Coati (Nasua spp.)

Gastropods Vertebrates
Refuse
1% 3%
3%

Spiders Plant parts


11% 26%

Millipeds
17%

Fruits
15%

Insects
24%

Alves-Costa et al. (2004)


Natural diets
Natural diets
Natural diets
Approach to zoo animal nutrition
do as we always did
based on experiences what sometimes experiences are
has been working mistakes one has been making
for long time

imitate the natural diet


best approach depends on what you know
about the natural diet, and
what feeds are available
No easy-to-harvest packages of tiny invertebrates
Unavoidable detritus ingestion in myrmacophages

from McNab (1984)


Approach to zoo animal nutrition
do as we always did
based on experiences what sometimes experiences are
has been working mistakes one has been making
for long time

imitate the natural diet


best approach depends on what you know
about the natural diet, and
what feeds are available
Example: Giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla)

Gull et al. (2015)


Natural diets

There are no secret, species-specific


ingredients!

Formic acid in anteater formulas?


Natural diets

There is no single source of quantitative natural diet


information on mammals.
Approach to zoo animal nutrition
do as we always did
based on experiences what sometimes experiences are
has been working mistakes one has been making
for long time

imitate the natural diet


best approach depends on what you know
about the natural diet, and
what feeds are available
Two traditions in imitating natural diets

Ratcliffe and
Hediger
Wackernagel

a complete feed for natural feeds (forages,


each animal (group) fruits/vegetables), that
(pelleted/extruded) resemble the natural diet

atypcial physical selective feeding possible


structure
some nutrients available feeds differ from
difficult to limit in nutrient content from
behavioural deficits the natural diet
Frugivores dont eat supermarket fruit
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courtesy Tjalling Huisman


Traditions in imitating natural diets
Traditions in imitating natural diets
Traditions in imitating natural diets

slide courtesy of Graham Law, Glasgow University


Traditions in imitating natural diets
Traditions in imitating natural diets
Approach to zoo animal nutrition
do as we always did
based on experiences what sometimes experiences are
has been working mistakes one has been making
for long time

imitate the natural diet


best approach depends on what you know
about the natural diet, and
what feeds are available
use a suitable domestic species as model
scientific compromise species-specific peculiarities
huge amount of knowledge are easily overlooked
Food Organism

essential food components non-essential food components


Food Organism

Many enzymes can be spared!


Food Organism

essential food components


essential nutrients:
-! high protein requirement
-! amino acids taurine and arginine
not essential for dogs -! arachidonic acid
-! vitamin A (!-carotine useless)
-! vitamin D
-! niacine
Approach to zoo animal nutrition
do as we always did
based on experiences what sometimes experiences are
has been working mistakes one has been making
for long time

imitate the natural diet


best approach depends on what you know
about the natural diet, and
what feeds are available
use a suitable domestic species as model
scientific compromise species-specific peculiarities
huge amount of knowledge are easily overlooked
Approach to zoo animal nutrition
do as we always did
based on experiences what sometimes experiences are
has been working mistakes one has been making
for long time

imitate the natural diet


best approach depends on what you know
about the natural diet, and
what feeds are available
use a suitable domestic species as model
scientific compromise species-specific peculiarities
huge amount of knowledge are easily overlooked

based on studies in zoo animals


scientific approach financially and logistically
challenging, difficulty in
summarizing knowledge
Studies in zoo animals

!Case reports / case series


!Inventories of diets, pathological
states, husbandry success
!Differences between free-range
and zoo
!Epidemiological / controlled studies
Examples: case studies

no control group
The classic problem repertoire

Carnivore Red meat Calcium deficiency

Primate Fruits & vegetables Calcium deficiency

Fish-Eater Thawed fish Sodium- and vitamin


B deficiency

Herbivore Hay & grains Acidosis, vitamin E-


and calcium deficiency
Examples: inventories

Marholdt (1991)

Grisham and Savage (1990)

rel. Life expectancy

no direct
association
Mller et al. (2011)
Examples: inventories

Kibby Treiber - Plenary (2015)


Studies in zoo animals

!Case reports / case series


!Inventories of diets, pathological
states, husbandry success
!Differences between free-range and
zoo
!Epidemiological / controlled studies
Examples: differences wild - zoo

fibre in herbivore diets


iron deposits in organs
unsaturated (n-3) fatty acids in diets
and body tissues
tooth wear (browsers, bears)
dental calculus

e.g. Taylor et al. (2013), Clauss & Paglia (2012), Clauss et al. (2007), Wenker et al. (1999), Kaiser et al. (2009),
Taylor et al. (2014), Clarke & Cameron (1998)
Dental calculus
Examples: differences wild - zoo

fibre in herbivore diets


iron deposits in organs
unsaturated (n-3) fatty acids in diets
and body tissues
tooth wear (browsers, bears)
dental calculus
undesired GIT bacteria
feeding-related dysbehaviour

e.g. Taylor et al. (2013), Clauss & Paglia (2012), Clauss et al. (2007), Wenker et al. (1999), Kaiser et al. (2009),
Taylor et al. (2014), Clarke & Cameron (1998), Fujita & Kageyama (2007)
Great ape R/R
Examples: differences wild - zoo

fibre in herbivore diets


iron deposits in organs
unsaturated (n-3) fatty acids in diets
and body tissues
tooth wear (browsers, bears)
dental calculus
undesired GIT bacteria
feeding-related dysbehaviour
obesity
e.g. Taylor et al. (2013), Clauss & Paglia (2012), Clauss et al. (2007), Wenker et al. (1999), Kaiser et al. (2009),
Taylor et al. (2014), Clarke & Cameron (1998), Fujita & Kageyama (2007), Schwitzer & Kaumanns (2001)
Examples: differences wild - zoo

obesity
Vetion EAZWV Member online course
Examples: epidemiological/controlled studies
Examples: epidemiological/controlled studies

courtesy Christoph Schwitzer


Examples: epidemiological/controlled studies
Examples: epidemiological/controlled studies
Examples: epidemiological/controlled studies

=> Fe ! 350 ppm DM


leads to massive liver
damage
Examples: epidemiological/controlled studies

=> Fe ! 350 ppm DM


leads to massive liver
damage
Research in a zoo setting

! lack of risk for zoo animals is usually a prerogative


for a zoo study to be allowed
! studies that shall have relevance for HEALTH mostly
by definition require setups of more and less
healthy options/treatments

! typical risk-free nutrition studies in zoos with


potential relevance: inventories, epidemiological
studies
! typical risk-free nutrition studies in zoos with less
potential relevance: measuring digestibility and
digesta passage on used diets
Approach to zoo animal nutrition
do as we always did
based on experiences what sometimes experiences are
has been working mistakes one has been making
for long time

imitate the natural diet


best approach depends on what you know
about the natural diet, and
what feeds are available
use a suitable domestic species as model
scientific compromise species-specific peculiarities
huge amount of knowledge are easily overlooked

based on studies in zoo animals


scientific approach financially and logistically
challenging, difficulty in
summarizing knowledge
Where is the information?
Where is the information?
Where is the information?
Where is the information?
Where is the information?
Where is the information?
Where is the information?
Where is the information?

not in any one place


Where is the information?